Loving a mirage

Ever since I read Milan Kundera’s The Unbearable Lightness of Being I have been pondering on the different questions the novel left me with. Probably I’ll never find the right answer, or may be there is none. The novel left me questions about love and human relationships in general. The answers to which I will continue exploring for a long time.

There are scientific explanations to why do we love someone, not necessarily sexual (platonic) like love between two friends, a man and a dog, a mother and her child. But I have never come across a scientific explanation as to why we stop loving someone. Time, human expectations, and death they all play a role.

We sometimes are in love with the idea of a particular person even when the person is no more or not around us. Death is final in physical sense, but the person continues to live on through memories and through love. Love keeps the memories alive. Time passes and probably the idea of a person continues to be loved. As the idea lives on and life moves on probably the idea of person(mirage) seems more ideal as our lives become far from ideal. Kundera explores this possibility in his novel.

As we now live in a hyper-connected world, I now wonder about the love in the time of social media. This idea of a person takes form of Facebook profile or WhatsApp profile. Someone might be far far away from us, and we probably have not met the person in years, but can we continue to love the idea of that individual? We continue to chat, send messages, comment on walls, tell them what is going on in our lives. It is similar to letters being exchanged in old times. This has just taken a different form. There are not much expectations in such a relationship. Loving the idea of a person is lighter than loving the person itself. It does not come with any baggage and responsibility. The idea itself becomes our ideal projection.

– Shantanu Gharpure


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